Micronauts vol 1 #7
“Adventure into Fear!”
by Bill Mantlo, Michael Golden and Joe Rubenstein
Man-Thing is “Guest-Starring” in this issue. He is standing in water holding unconscious Marionette and Rann while the remaining Micronauts are positioned about his feet. While Microtron and Biotron appear to flee, Acroyear wields his energy sword.
PAGES 1-2: The Micronauts and Steve Coffin spend time at Ray Coffin’s fishing cottage in the Everglades.
- This issue takes place in the Everglades.
- Bug and Acroyear spend time with Steve Coffin. Bug is revolted by the idea of fish living in water. They are fishing for food because, as Acroyear explains, Steve would consume a year’s supply of Micronaut food in a day.
- Micronaut food is not compatible with Steve’s biosystem, though.
- Microtron watches original Star Trek on TV. He finds Star Trek exciting and “almost believable”.
- Rann sleeps in his HYBERNATION CAPSULE. Marionette calls it a “horrid coffin”.
PAGES 3-5 (3, 6-7): While watching Rann’s dreams, Biotron recounts the 1000-year journey of the Endeavor and the encounter with the Space Wall and the Enigma Force.
- Biotron is able to show Marionette Rann’s dreams on a screen. Presumably, this is because Biotron is telepathically-linked to Rann.
- Rann’s dreams are in fact memories from his 1000-year voyage in the Endeavor. We see his public farewell by his parents, Dallan and Lady Sepsis as well as Chief Scientist Karza, who we are told tutored Rann from birth. We see Biotron bearing Rann’s greetings to strange alien beings of Quarlos IV (the telepathic image of Rann makes him appear much more like a Time Traveler – something that will be explored in a future issue). Biotron explains that Rann brought a message of peace from Homeworld to each new world. Karza’s ships, however, had subsequently conquered these worlds.
- Biotron expresses his bitterness caused by the futility of their mission. On Homeworld a WARP DRIVE was discovered which enabled vessels to travel across the Microverse in seconds.
- When the Endeavor reached the fringes of the Microverse it met the barrier of the SPACE WALL. It caused the Endeavor to accelerate beyond physical laws and then Rann and Biotron encountered the Enigma Force (Time Travelers). Without spoiling too much at this point, it’s likely that the acceleration of the Endeavor played some causal role in the creation of the Enigma Force. This encounter caused Rann’s and Biotron’s minds to permanently merge (again, I’d argue this is an aspect of the creation of the Enigma Force, too).
- Biotron explains to Marionette that his new awareness of fear caused him to pilot the Endeavor back towards Earth.
PAGES 5-7 (7, 10-11): The Micronauts finish fishing and watch a TV news broadcast about H.E.L.L.
- Microtron has been monitoring the TV broadcasts concerning the Micronauts and H.E.L.L.
- Bug is nearly eaten by a fish.
- Man-Thing watches from a distance. He is drawn towards the cabin by Steve’s grief. Man-Thing has been hanging about the Marvel Universe since his introduction in Savage Tales #1 in May 1971. The title of this issue is drawn from the Man-Thing comic, Adventure into Fear. One of Man-Thing’s “abilities” is to sense emotions.
- H.E.L.L. has been sealed off with some sort of force field.
- The TV reporter interviews Colonel Macey. We’ll see more of him next issue.
PAGES 7-9 (11, 14-15): At the same time in the Microverse.
- Psychophysical probes reveal to Karza’s scientists that Professor Prometheus is a semi-bionic human, surrounded by his own atmosphere and has been driven insane.
- Karza realises that he could MIND-MERGE with Prometheus and travel to Earth. I’m not entirely sure how Karza is even aware of Earth. In issue #4, it was shown that Karza was tracking Shaitan so that he knew when Shaitan returned to the Microverse. Perhaps Karza was monitoring events on Earth?
- Argon and Slug are considered as a trap by rebels. One of the Shadow Priests explains that it does not serve Karza and mentions a final battle that will take place. There will be an important revelation about the nature of the shadow priests in a future issue.
- The Time Traveler invites Ray Coffin to fight for Earth. Next issue we’ll see how Ray returns to Earth.
PAGES 9-17 (15-17, 19, 22-23, 26-27, 30): Man-Thing and the Micronauts fight.
- Marionette fires her LASERSONIC PISTOL at Man-Thing but it has little effect.
- The familiar “Whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing’s touch!” Is used in a wonderful splash page of Marionette shooting at Man-Thing.
- Acroyear’s ENERGY BLADE passes clean through Man-Thing with little damage to the muck monster. Bug’s ROCKET LANCE has hardly any effect either.
- Bug is squashed by the Man-Thing’s hand and begins to burn.
- Marionette uses the exclamation, “Dallan preserve us”, to which Rann responds: “My dad couldn’t even preserve himself, Princess! Karza slew him and my mother!” Rann isn’t relying on anyone else than the Micronauts to act.
- Steve’s plan – involving a swamp buggy – enables him to overcome his fear and this change in emotion confuses Man-Thing.
- Biotron flies the Endeavor’s HYDROCOPTOR and fires a laser blast at Man-Thing so that Microtron can rescue Bug.
- Biotron’s mix of roboid and human consciousness is too alien to attract the attention of Man-Thing. It seems Man-Thing is only aware of Steve.
- Man-Thing hasn’t experienced courage before. Steve’s courage fills Man-Thing with wonder. It is at this joyful moment that Steve, ironically, uses the swamp buggy to slice Man-Thing. Steve tells Bug that he had the impression that Man-Thing committed suicide rather than fight. A few panels later he reconstitutes and watches from afar.
- Acroyear believes that the Man-Thing was a noble foe. It seems unlikely that it’s possible to determine a monster’s motivations based on a couple of minutes of battle.
- The Endeavor has been repaired and powered-up. The Micronauts are going to return to the Microverse to search for Ray Coffin and to fight Karza.
Next issue: “Then Shall Come a Hero!” The final panel of this issue is fabulous! Karza climbs out of the Prometheus Pit. It’s a nightmarish horror scene.
- This “filler” issue appears to be set in the Everglades for no other reason than to introduce the Man-Thing. As far as I can tell, this may have been a bit of pre-promotion for the new series of Man-Thing that was launched in November 1979. Man-Thing’s last comic appearance was in 1975.